Logan Kahle found a Sage Thrasher near Low Beach, Nantucket, on November 25. It was only the fourth record for Massachusetts, and the first state record outside of Essex County. It was relocated by several birders the following day, and photographed by a few, including Trish Pastuszak, who took the photograph above.
Jacob Hesterman was taking a post-Christmas walk in his Newton neighborhood when he came across the flashiest rarity of the period, a male Painted Bunting. Despite the menacing presence of at least two Cooper’s Hawks, the bunting lurked in the area for a few days into the New Year and attracted an admiring crowd. Andy Sanford took the photo above.
Mark and Brian Faherty were participating in the Taunton-Middleborough Christmas Bird Count on December 30 when they came across a LeConte’s Sparrow. It remained in the area for about a week to the delight of many birders. Mark took the photo above.
US Fish & Wildlife Service biologists Scott Schwenk and Roxanne Bogart spent New Year’s Day in Provincetown, and were rewarded with an Eared Grebe swimming practically right under their noses at MacMillan Wharf. The bird is still being reported as this issue goes to press, more than two weeks later. Scott Schwenk took the photo above.
Rick Heil spotted two White Pelicans flying together over Plum Island on November 30. He got the word out and a few other birders managed to relocate the birds farther down the island. The following day, Jeremiah Trimble and Jeff Offerman presumably saw the same two birds flying over Ipswich. They were never seen again in Massachusetts, but a bird of the same species was seen later in December in coastal New Hampshire and Maine, and may have been one of these two. Jeremiah Trimble took the photograph above.